Need for Speed:Showdown is a new title in the NFS series acting as a sequel to undercover and rivals of sorts and so focuses on an undercover cop protaganist fighting against his former partner who too used to be a cop who now has a gang and racing syndicate taking control of the games main setting Arcadia City.
You essentially race in-game and now as a first for an NFS game can get out of the car to explore and do some wide open sandbox exploration often fighting the odd gang member and cop aswell as the abillity to tag AI's cars or motorbikes and get them in your garage as your own main vehicle or you could steal it like in GTA. You can also customise your character changing how he or she looks and change his or her name to whatever you like and will be referred to that in-game aswell as his or her personallity and voice.
The games story starts after a botched heist where our main character is blamed and arrested and so in the beginning you get to customise our protaganist which is a first for a need for speed game with normally faceless heroes who race cars. After he escapes and is customised the hero, Brook learns that his former feiend and cop parter now controls the city and has to race against the big 76,a list consisting of powerful,jaded and famous racers that want to control the city too and have unique personalities. He does a couple of odd jobs and races before getting to the first member of the list,Mamba Iroquouis Ramses.